Home > Latest News > Major Supplier To Bunnings & Amazon Slapped With $15M Fine For Price Fixing, Biggest Ever In OZ

Major Supplier To Bunnings & Amazon Slapped With $15M Fine For Price Fixing, Biggest Ever In OZ

The power tool supplier who sells Milwaukee branded products has been slapped with a massive $15 million dollar fine after the ACCC accused them of price fixing at retailers such as Sydney Tools, Bunnings, Tools Warehouse and Amazon.

The Company distributing the Milwaukee tools in Australia, Techtronic has been ordered to pay penalties totalling $15 million after admitting it had engaged in resale price maintenance conduct in relation to their power tools, hand tools and accessories for several years.

The total penalties, ordered by the Federal Court, are the highest imposed for resale price maintenance in Australia.

The Court also ordered Techtronic to post corrective notices on its website and to its dealers, implement a compliance program and pay part of the ACCC’s costs. The Federal Court will publish its written reasons at a later date.Resale price maintenance (also known as RPM) occurs when a supplier of goods specifies a minimum price below which a reseller must not supply, offer to supply, advertise, or display those goods for sale.

“The ACCC submitted to the Court that this level of penalty was appropriate given the seriousness, duration and extent of Techtronic’s conduct. It sends a strong signal to deter others from engaging in RPM and should serve as a warning for all other businesses,” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said.

ChannelNews understands that the ACCC looked at the sale of other power tools in this category but did not take any action with other brands.

“Resale price maintenance is illegal because it is harmful to price competition, which may mean consumers pay a higher price than they would in a truly competitive market.”

Techtronic admitted that, between January 2016 and July 2021, it entered into 97 agreements with retailers and dealers which restricted the sale of Milwaukee products below a specified minimum price.

Techtronic also admitted it enforced the restrictive RPM provisions in its contracts 29 times between December 2016 and May 2020, for example by issuing warnings to dealers who offered to sell, or sold, Milwaukee branded products below the specified minimum price, or by withholding supply from two dealers.Techtronic admitted to engaging in resale price maintenance and cooperated with the ACCC. The parties filed joint submissions, a statement of agreed facts, and joint proposed orders.

The background is that Techtronic is the Australian subsidiary of Hong Kong based Techtronic Industries Co Ltd and is a major supplier of power tools in Australia. Its registered office and principal place of business are in Melbourne, Victoria.

Techtronic is a wholesale supplier of Milwaukee products nationally to dealers and dealer groups, including major retailers with multiple outlets and buying groups of multiple independent retailers.



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